The mighty quince

There’s a garden in my neighbourhood with a quince tree on the front lawn. At this time of year it’s festooned with fat golden quinces.

Better butter

Writing about butter is close to the top of my list of interesting things to do. After eating butter. It has always surprised me that the Waikato doesn’t have a premium iconic butter product. Our beautiful grass-fed dairy cows produce so much milk and cream, but up...

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Living herbs and spices

My life would be boring without fresh herbs and spices. Here’s my guide to what herbs and spices you can (and can’t) grow in the Waikato. And also, where/ how to get them. This is a follow-up to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Here’s a link to that post: Home-grown...

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Whole hearted and local

Hamilton only has a few independent grocery shops, so each and every one is to be treasured. Whole Heart has been open since last year. It’s in Queenwood Village, a little block of shops on a sunny suburban corner not far from River Road and a few blocks from...

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Cheese cultures

This is the first of a series of posts about Waikato cheeses. One of the many great things about living in the Waikato is that we have excellent cheese here. I’m not talking about 1kg blocks of bland cheddar or colby. There are wonderful specialist cheese makers in...

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Bananas in winter

I’m sitting in my kitchen on a frosty morning, thinking about winter crops in the Waikato. On the table is a basket of freshly picked locally grown bananas. That's the amazing seasonal abundance of this region. My bananas come from the Raglan garden of Tom Jackson....

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British pudding

Black pudding isn’t a dessert – it’s a kind of sausage. I love a good quality black pudding. It’s an arcane, weird, polarising delicacy that’s a cornerstone of British regional cuisine. My British father, Ralph Bulmer, enjoyed a traditional English breakfast, and...

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